Hapa-palooza @ Word Vancouver
12:15 pm12:15

Hapa-palooza @ Word Vancouver

Hapa-palooza teams up with Word Vancouver in the largest celebration of literacy and reading.  Two events held at VPL Central Branch co-hosted by the Hapa-palooza Festival. 


VPL Central Branch from 12:15 to 1:15pm

The inspiration for author Simon Choa-Johnston’s latest novel House of Wives comes from his Jewish and Chinese heritage. Join Choa-Johnston in a workshop on how to pursue family heritage as inspiration for fiction, and resources and exercises to get authors started on their personal journeys of discovery. For more information please visit hapapalooza.com.

WRITING FROM WITHIN: Memoir and Identity - Panel Discussion

VPL Central Branch from 2:40 to 3:40pm

Join four authors as they discuss their experiences and choices when writing from life, and share key lessons they have learned on their professional journeys. With journalist and author Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, writer and teacher Betsy Warland, Nanaimo poet laureate Naomi Beth Wakan, and mixed Vietnamese-American editor and writer Brandy Lien-Worrall. Moderated by Hapa-palooza festival founder and author Anna Ling Kaye.

Hapa-palooza @ ArtStarts
10:30 am10:30

Hapa-palooza @ ArtStarts

  • ArtStarts Gallery

Story Through the Body: Writing Ourselves

FREE Writing and Yoga Workshop for Women (Ages 16-100+)

Led by writer, artist, curator and teacher Maria T. Allocco, this all-women’s workshop infuses beginner yoga poses with writing prompts to help participants discover personal truth and creative content through the body.

Participants will move through asana (yoga poses), personal writing, and shivasana. Anyone who self-identifies as a woman and hapa/mixed race is especially encouraged to participate, and those with little or no yoga and writing experience are more than welcome. Participants are invited to bring a personal journal, but this is not required. The focus will be on empowerment, individual expression, and self-compassion.

Family Day
1:00 pm13:00

Family Day

  • Granville Island Picnic Pavilion


Family Day is a Hapa-palooza Festival Favourite year after year!

A free community event, welcoming all people to celebrate mixed heritage.  This year’s family-friendly fun includes live music and dance by Zhambai Trio and the Kauhane School of Polynesian Dance, balloon art by author Michael Ouchi, face painting by Melanie Dawn, henna creations by Jasmine Cambon, and the ever-popular ImageCube photo-booth.


Zhambai Trio plays traditional and original music from Zimbabwe and features ancient instruments such as the  mbira (“thumb piano”), hosho (maracas), and ngoma (hand drums) as well as the more contemporary Zimbabwean marimba. The haunting yet uplifting sound of the mbira rhythms and interlocking melodies combined with the lilting quality of the vocal harmonies are at once stimulating and relaxing.  The sound is reminiscent of water dropping, spirits talking, ancestors singing and blood pumping. Listen with open ears and you'll find time becomes elastic as you get lost in this magical music.  As a trio, these multi-faceted musicians bring a message of joy and healing to themselves and the listener.

Zhambai Trio


Since its inception in 1999, Halau Hula Ka'Uhane O Ka Pakipika has grown to nearly 150 haumana (students), ranging in age from 2.5 years to 70+, and is the largest Polynesian dance school in Canada. The school is the proud recipient of the Top Polynesian Group award from the Pacific West Performing Arts Festival for many years. The school performs regularly throughout the year at private and commercial venues and travels and learns throughout Canada and the US, including Hawaii.

Kauhane School of Polynesion Dance

Balloon Artist – Michael Ouchi

Michael Ouchi is a published author of children's books and young adult books. Some of the published credits of Michael Ouchi include Extreme Balloon Tying: More Than 40 Over-the-Top Projects, The Ultimate Balloon Book & Kit.

Michael Ouchi with the balloon crown showing off his skills at Hapa Family Day.

Michael Ouchi with the balloon crown showing off his skills at Hapa Family Day.

Face Painter - Melanie Dawn

Some of Melanie's vibrant creations.

Some of Melanie's vibrant creations.

Melanie Dawn is a professional makeup artist specializing in body art and fantasy makeup for public, private and corporate events. A fine arts graduate, Melanie's work stands out from the crowd and has become uniquely recognizable throughout Metro Vancouver. Melanie's extensive client list includes Electronic Arts, ToysRUs, Cirque Du Soleil, IKEA and LIT Cosmetics, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Face and Body Artists and the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Body Paint League. Melanie counts Irish, Burmese and Welsh in her heritage. (website).

Hip Hapa Hooray Awards Gala
7:00 pm19:00

Hip Hapa Hooray Awards Gala

  • CBC Studio 700

An evening of celebration and recognition to kick off our 2016 festival!

Guests can enjoy delicious “hapa-tizers” by Open Sesame Catering, mixed drinks and music. The evening, hosted by comedian, Sean Yap Sei-Been Devlin, will feature a keynote address by author and Roundhouse Radio host Minelle Mahtani. Three inspiring community members of mixed heritage will be recognized including esteemed Elder Larry Grant, author Minelle Mahtani and music video director Director X. Guests can mingle and enjoy a visual art display highlighting mixed identity by Maria T. Allocco and Lauren Brevner, live music, storytelling and comedy.  


Keynote Address
and Award Recipient (Community Builder Award) – Minelle Mahtani

Minelle Mahtani

Minelle is an author, journalist and Associate Professor of Human Geography and Planning, and the Program in Journalism at University of Toronto-Scarborough. She has written two books: Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality and Global Mixed Race. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector in Vancouver for the former firm IMPACS – Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society - and sits on the steering committee of UBC’s journalism school. She is former President of the Association for Canadian Studies and has won several awards, including a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for her contributions to journalism. She is a former CBC TV journalist who worked on The National. Minelle took a sabbatical from University of Toronto to take on an exciting role at Roundhouse Radio.

Award Recipient (Lifetime Achievement Award) - Larry Grant

Larry Grant photo credit Edward Chang

Elder Larry Grant is of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry. Born on a hop field as a premature baby in Agassiz, B.C., Grant was raised in Musqueam traditional territory. After retiring as a longshoreman, Grant enrolled in the First Nations Languages Program at the University of British Columbia to reconnect with his mother’s ancestral language, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.  Through this transformational process Grant achieved his goal of learning how to welcome people to Musqueam territory using the language, discovered his aptitude for sharing stories, and developed a strong passion for revitalizing hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. 

He is featured in two short videos “Not Belonging” and “Intertwining Cultures” produced by Chinese Canadian Stories relating to his experience as a person of mixed heritage. Larry and his siblings are featured in the upcoming documentary "All Our Father's Relations" (2016), which tells the story of their journey from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father’s roots and better understand his fractured relationship with their Musqueam mother. Larry is also the co-author of the multilingual Musqueam children's book "Let's Take a Walk!" with Sarah Ling. 

Larry is presently assisting in revitalizing hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ in the Musqueam Language and Culture Department, and co-teaching the introductory hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ course through UBC. He is the Elder-in-Residence at UBC's First Nations House of Learning, a Faculty Fellow at St. John's College, and the inaugural Honorary Life Fellow for Green College.

Award Recipient (Innovator Award) – Director X (attendance TBC)

Director X was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and is of Trinidadian and Swiss descent. Moving to New York City he became the protégé of pioneering hip hop director Hype Williams, X has been noted for directing high-budget, visually distinctive videos for popular music artists, including Drake, Nelly Furtado, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Kardinal Off-ishal, Sean Paul, R. Kelly, Usher, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Rihanna, LL Cool J, Brandy, Diddy and Korn. His work has been nominated and awarded by the MTV music video awards and MuchMusic Video Music Awards.

Director X

Master of Ceremony - Sean Devlin

Sean Devlin is a comedian, filmmaker, and activist. He has been performing stand up comedy since he was a teenager and has been active in the climate justice movement for 4 years. He is a direct action trainer and a thought stylist at the Yes Men's Yes Lab for creative activism.

Hybrid Identity Art Exhibit
Sep 30

Hybrid Identity Art Exhibit

Running the entire month of September 2016

Vancouver Public Library – Moat*


*Due to unusual circumstances, the month-long Art Exhibit had an early close on Sept. 16. Apologies to all who were inconvenienced! Further details here.

Lauren Brevner's art will be on display again at our Sept 23, 2016 Hip Hapa Hooray Gala. Hope to see you there!

A public art exhibit featuring the visual art of Lauren Brevner on the topic of mixed heritage, which will be displayed for the month of September at the VPL Moat.  Click here to read interview with Lauren Brevner on Hybrid Idenity and Mixed Heritage.

Feature Artist – Lauren Brevner

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Lauren Brevner is of Japanese, Trinidadian and German decent and grew up in a mixed heritage family rich with culture and inspiration. In 2009, she moved to Osaka, Japan in hopes of reconnecting with her roots. There, Lauren had the honour of apprenticing under renowned artist, Sin Nakayamal. It was through her mentor that she first began her work as an artist. Nakayamal was the inspiration that sparked her journey to self-taught fruition.

The composition of her paintings explore mixed-media through the use of oil, acrylic, and resin. This unique technical style is combined with a collage of Japanese chiyogami, yuzen, and washi paper on wooden panels. Her influence originates from the stylistic elements of traditional Japanese art and culture. She aspires to reinvent the eloquent tradition of using gold and silver leaf in art.

Lauren's paintings primarily involve the interpretation of female portraiture. She plays with polychromatic layers; the figures within it existing in surreal and isometric spheres. The women embody strength and femininity through sombre silence. Their gaze a myriad narrative. Lauren Brevner seeks to create a commentary on the subject of women and their depiction in art throughout the ages.